/// Outbrain Isn’t Going Public Yet. But a CFO Hire Gives You a Hint About Where They’re Headed

September 10, 2013  |  All Things Digital


Is Outbrain, the content recommendation service, getting ready to go public? The Israeli tech press says that’s the plan , and offers varying valuations the New York-based company is supposedly seeking. And Outbrain, which has raised $64 million so far ,  could go public, one day, says CEO Yaron Galai. But not anytime soon. For starters: Up until last week, the company hadn’t had a chief financial officer — a key role for a public company. Equally important: The company hasn’t filed any public offering paperwork with the SEC, Galai says. (Until recently, people outside the company could vet this themselves, by checking with the SEC. Now the JOBS Act allows private companies to keep their initial SEC IPO paperwork secret.) Given that the IPO filing process takes months of back-and-forth between regulators and private company accountants, this means you certainly shouldn’t expect an Outbrain offering in 2013. Outbrain is the largest and best-known of a new breed of company that makes money funneling traffic from one publisher’s site to another. It gets paid whenever someone clicks on its sponsored listings (those are the ones labeled “From the Web” at the end of this story), and gives the originating publisher 60 percent of the revenue. Publishers (like AllThingsD) also benefit because Outbrain provides recommendations for other stories that will keep readers on the original site. So when could we see an Outbrain IPO? Here’s what Galai told me yesterday via email: Otherwise – we keep looking to lock the biggest and most vibrant marketplace for content recommendations. There are strong network effects in this business, and both users and publishers gain most by having one vibrant marketplace. We’ll keep exploring all funding routes, including the public route, that will help us maintain our leadership. And about that CFO hire: The slot has been filled by Jeff Davison, who had most recently been CFO at RightNow Technologies, a publicly traded cloud software company Oracle bought in 2011 for $1.8 billion . Outbrain’s press release announcing the hire certainly gives you the impression Galai thinks this could be a step toward a public filing: Outbrain Appoints Jeff Davison as Chief Financial Officer Key Hire Brings 25 Years of Financial Experience Overseeing Millions in Revenue at Both Public and Private Companies New York, NY, September 10, 2013 – Outbrain, the leading content discovery platform, today announced that Jeff Davison has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer

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Outbrain Isn’t Going Public Yet. But a CFO Hire Gives You a Hint About Where They’re Headed


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